On Saturday, Sept. 24, Country. Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, and many more state and local officials gathered in front of the West Hartford Town Hall to rally for women’s reproductive rights.
The rally was called “Bans Off Our Bodies”, and its purpose was to call attention to the upcoming elections, in which the results could drastically change the position of Connecticut as the Republican party has expressed its desire to push for a nationwide abortion ban.
“What happened in the Supreme Court is wrong, it’s unconstitutional,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong. He continued by saying that “women should have the basic fundamental right to determine what happened to their own bodies, and that’s what you heard here from people here today. They’re ready to fight for our State and our Country.”
Since the Supreme Court’s decision of overturning Roe v. Wade, the state of Connecticut has been providing different resources to help people who are seeking information about abortion or abortion services. In August, Lamont announced that the state was launching a reproductive rights telephone hotline and website that was going to help the people find the resources they needed. The state has also enacted additional laws to expand abortion access and passed legislation protecting both patients and practitioners, whether they are from Connecticut or another state.
“Our point today was to highlight the fact that in 45 days, people have a chance to vote, and we want it to show candidates who are pro-choice and will stand up for women’s reproductive freedom” said Bysiewicz. “Voters should know that reproductive freedom is on the ballot, marriage equality is on the ballot, and democracy is on the ballot. So we want people to be informed. We hope they’ll vote for our team.”
Many residents showed their support for the Democratic Party and the fight for women’s reproductive rights on Saturday, but they also expressed their concerns regarding the future of their state. “I’m here as a journalist and as a mom. I wanted my young daughter to see what’s going on, because if the election goes the other way if Republicans win instead of Democrats, that would mean that they could change the laws here in Connecticut,” said Dawn Ennis, a journalist and professor at the University of Hartford.
The rally started around 10 a.m., and a few minutes after the beginning of the speeches, a small group of “Pro-Life” protesters showed up to the event, playing the drum and holding signs against abortion. A man was wearing a Revolutionary War costume, and a woman next to him was holding the American flag and a sign that said “Good Stated don’t kill their kids.”
After the speeches on the podium, people from the community and representatives of the State regrouped by the steps of the Town Hall to share their opinions and words of support, hoping that after the upcoming election, the state of Connecticut will remain a place where women’s reproductive rights are respected.